Marc reviews the audio version of Lynn Flewelling’s ”Shadow’s Return’ (Nightrunner Book 4) (The book was re-published on June 24th 2008 by Spectra and is 546 pgs long. The audiobook version was released on November 24th, 2009 by Audible Studios and is narrated by Adam Danoff, it is 12 hrs and 2 mins long.
Why I read this series: Book one was one of the very first books with LGBT characters I ever read. I discovered there were books with LGBT content (M/M, gay fiction and fiction with gay characters) and looked at the lists Google referred me to. Being a big Fantasy fan, I eventually stumbled upon the Best Fantasy Books with Gay Main Characters list on Goodreads and it was impossible for me not to give this book a try, especially when I realized there were audio versions of the book. So I of course had to buy the audio for book two and beyond and loved them even more, devoured most of this series back-to-back. Warning: This series may cause a series addiction to this world and these characters 😉
I will post reviews of all the books in this series during this week, so keep on the lookout for them. Please also check out my interview with the author HERE! 😉
CLICK ON THE COVER TO BUY THE BOOK ON AUDIBLE OR AMAZON 🙂
With their most treacherous mission yet behind them, heroes Seregil and Alec resume their double life as dissolute nobles and master spies. But in a world of rivals and charmers, fate has a different plan.…
After their victory in Aurënen, Alec and Seregil have returned home to Rhíminee. But with most of their allies dead or exiled, it is difficult for them to settle in. Hoping for diversion, they accept an assignment that will take them back to Seregil’s homeland. En route, however, they are ambushed and separated, and both are sold into slavery. Clinging to life, Seregil is sustained only by the hope that Alec is alive.
But it is not Alec’s life his strange master wants—it is his blood. For his unique lineage is capable of producing a rare treasure, but only through a harrowing process that will test him body and soul and unwittingly entangle him and Seregil in the realm of alchemists and madmen—and an enigmatic creature that may hold their very destiny in its inhuman hands…. But will it prove to be savior or monster?
Buy Book Four of the Nightrunner series:
The cover of book 4 is different than that of the first three. It is not a scene from the book, but it gives you a close look at one of the main protagonists and implies some kind of naval action. Like the other covers it is beautifully drawn.
The title of this book is ominous and rightfully so. The shadows that return are an evil readers and the characters have previously encounter, but this time they swallow our heroes and draw them into their dark world.
This is the first book narrated by a different narrator. It was very hard for me to get used to. After about 60 hours of having both main protagonists and the secondary characters I loved voiced in a certain way, suddenly it was hard to make out their individual voices.The narrator sounds different, much younger and for me the voices were not as differentiated. However he does not do a bad job, just a different one. Having listened to all 7 audiobooks, I can tell you that you get used to it. I still prefer the previous narrator, though 😉
A Note From Author Lynn Flewelling
It’s been brought to my attention that there is some confusion over the noticeable difference in some of the pronunciations between the first three books of this series, and the last two. The reason for this is quite simple. For Shadows Return and The White Road, I had the pleasure of talking in considerable detail with narrator Adam Danoff. So the differences from the first three books may be a bit jarring at first, but what you will hear inShadows Return and The White Road are the proper pronunciations of names and things, as the author intended. I’m delighted with these new interpretations, and I hope you will be, too. Happy listening!
I know that not everyone was pleased by Alec and Seregil being seperated and kept apart for a long time early in the plot. We have come to care for them and love them as a couple after the first three books, so it is hard to see them apart and we keep waiting for them to finally get together again. However, they are both so strongly developed as individuals that for me they can stand on their own as well and the way the plot removes them from each others reach makes the whole dire situation they are in even more sinister.
It was very interesting to learn more about Plenemar, even though the abuse and slavery was hard to ‘watch’ for me (as it should be). It is kind of frightening once you realize how much the evil enemies that you read about and despise have to do with r own cultura past…
The most interesting part about this book, though, was the inclusion of alchemy. Honestly, I have never read much about it and my base knowledge ended with the basic chemistry course in High School and the tiniest bit of knowledge about alchemists. It made the whole book very fresh for me. We know about Oreska magic and about the fae in Aurenen, about dragons and some bits about blood magic. But alchemy is so very different from what I’m used to reading about in fantasy or other stories. It’s a mixture of science and magic in this book and the fact that it was used for evil by an evil man did not make it any less interesting for me.
Just because this story takes place in Plenemar, though, does not mean that we don’t learn more about things that were teased before or never get to see some of the other characters we love. We learn more about Alec’s origins and will continue to do so in the next book and we learn more about the Seregil’s past.
The different location, culture, the seperation of our heroes and the absence of our beloved supporting cast makes this story feel rather different, though. Some people may miss the nightrunning and political intrigue, but while different, I really did enjoy this story greatly and the dark tone and atmosphere made a certain amount of danger present in every word and sentence of this story.
Overall, while it did not reach the heights of book 2 and 3 for me, my favorites,it came very close with 9/10 pots of gold. Strongly recommended 😉
Lynn Flewelling grew up in Presque Isle, Maine. Since receiving a degree in English from the University of Maine in 1981, she has studied veternary medicine at Oregon State, classical Greek at Georgetown University, and worked as a personnel generalist, landlord, teacher, necropsy technician, advertising copywriter, and freelance journalist, more or less in that order. She currently resides in sunny southern California with her husband Douglas and two naughty dogs.
She is the author of two internationally acclaimed series: The Nightrunner Series and the Tamír Triad. Her books have been published in a dozen countries, including Japan and Russia.